Sunday, October 31, 2010

M.I.A. and Yummy Protein Bars

Well I have been completely out of it when it comes to blooging lately.  It's been almost a week since my last post, and that makes me sad.  Things have been so crazy around here, and I've literally been busy every minute I wasn't asleep.  You know how it is, I'm sure.  But life has been fun, and I've still been crafting.  We hosted our very first Halloween party last night, and it was so great!  I don't have pictures yet because my sister was kind enough to take them with her fancy-schmancy camera.  But, most of the decorating ideas came from other talented ladies out there in blog land.  So, until I can post my pictures, here is what I've been up to this past week:

Halloweeny things:
Super cute (and simple) linen wreath
Staches on a stick
Popeye and Olive Oyl
Baby zebra

Life things:
broke my brand new washer by using a non-H.E. detergent (thank you, Lord for warranties)
Hubby hurt his knee real bad

And now for the yummy part.  My mom gave me this recipe for protein bars that I thought I'd try for my hubby since he's sort of a health nut.  Well, he LOVED them, and now everyone at his work has their wives making them too!  I figured since they were such a huge hit you might enjoy them too!  Here ya go.

Yummy Protein Bars

2 cups (or 1 16 oz jar) of natural peanut butter (our favorite is Smuckers' natural)
1 3/4 cups honey
2 1/4 cups protein powder (we like the chocolate flavor the best for this recipe)
3 cups dry, uncooked oatmeal

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine peanut butter and honey.  Microwave for 1 1/2 -2 min, until it stirs easily.  Add protein powder and mix thoroughly, then add oatmeal and mix well.  It will be thick.  Press into a 9x13 inch pan.  Refrigerate 1 hour, or until solid enough to cut into bars.  Wrap each bar in foil or plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

Have a Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 22, 2010

El Cheapo Halloween Decor

Our little soiree is right around the corner, and I'm still trying to get the house ready...cheaply.  So I'm having to get creative...crazy, right!?  I've come up with just a couple of ideas that anyone can throw together to add a little some'n-some'n to your room.

Here I bought a pack of ping-pong balls from the Dollar Tree and simply drew on them to look like eyes.  I crumpled up some aluminum and threw them in a small vase.  Rocket science, I know.  

 They remind me of the Ben Stein dry eyes commercial!

and for this bad boy I took an otherwise uncoordinating candle holder and wrapped it in aluminum foil.   Too easy?  Sorry kids, that's how I roll... (not quite sure where that came from)

Finally, I made some black felt bunting to hang from the ceilings.  Sorry I don't have a picture of that, so you'll have to use your imagination... ready?  Black. Felt. Flags. Hanging on red yarn.

So, I'm sure I've just blown your minds with cheap decor ideas.  Have any of your own you'd like to share?  I'm all ears!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Free Halloween Fun!

Well it's Halloween time and, in my usual fashion I have, at the very last minute, decided to throw a party.  Nothing big, mostly family, however I really want to do up the casa real good.  So I've been scowering the web and racking my brain to make this a cheap yet festive event.  I'm amazed by the oodles of cheap ideas out there, but I'm even uber amazed by all of the free options!  As I am in between projects right now, I thought I'd share some of my finds.

This is a cute printable with a cute activity attached to it.  Click here to learn more...

Ok, this one is floating all over blogland so I couldn't not post it.   I love it! Just print and frame!

Who knew you could put paper bags through the printer?  Not I!  But you can, and here you can get great printables and how-to instructions.

All you need for this creative wall decor is a printer and an old book!  Love it!

So go have free fun crafting for your own shin-dig!  I'll be posting pics of my attempts soon, I hope you'll do the same!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lucia Screen Prints Part 2

Another screen printing project I worked on this week was a shirt for my nephew's 11th birthday.  He's quite the cutie with a big personality, so I wanted to come up with something that really fit him.  This is what I decided upon...

... because he is, well, a stud muffin.

Next time I make this shirt I think I'll try stacking "stud" on top of the "muffin" or just put them closer together.  It seems a little wide.  And that's one of the limits of the Yudu machine.  You're kind of confined to a narrow width to print on unless you do it sideways, which is what I did.  The only problem then is that you aren't able to easily align your design and make sure it's centered.  It's possible, just harder.  Ah well, what can you do but enjoy the process?

 Like what you see?  I'd love to make one for you!  Contact me at for more details.

Have a great day!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Lucia Screen Prints...

Yes she does!  I have been having such a great time this week getting to know my Yudu screen printing machine.  It definitely has its limits, but it's great for starting out.  Earlier this week I received a request from a friend of mine to make an owl shirt for her to wear to her daughter's owl-themed birthday party.   So excited, I decided to jump all in and create the design myself.  It was a HUGE learning experience for me but so much fun.  

Here's what I've learned so far:

1.  Cheap paint produces cheap work.  Fork out enough to at least buy the 2nd cheapest brand.
2.  Paints that aren't water-based will clog and ruin your screen.  bummer.
3.  Emulsion will only come off with emulsion remover.  All the elbow grease in the world will not save you if you don't have it.
4.  If you have an ink-jet printer, do not print onto transparencies designed for laser printers.  It will not burn correctly and you will waste an expensive emulsion sheet.
5.  Yudu emulsion sheets come in packs of 2 and they stick together.  Don't be a klutz like me and try to burn through both of them thinking there's only one.  The only thing you will have created is frustration.
And, if I have learned anything at all it is this: Set your due date 2 days before your project is actually due because inevitably there will be 2 days worth of mistakes and problems to set you back.  Well, for me at least.  

But, by the grace of God I managed to get the shirts to her on time... even if it was 9:00 at night.

So here are the results:  

I made a little one for her daughter, but unfortunately it didn't come out as well.

Like I said, it was a learning experience, and I would have done some things differently, but all in all I'm quite proud of my little guy.  Have I inspired you to create your own owl paraphernalia?  You're welcome to use my design!  Don't have a Yudu?  That's ok, I'm sure you could freezer stencil it.

So have a hoot and make some shirts!  Oh, and if you are particularly fond of owls, do I have a blog for you!  It's called My Owl Barn and you are guaranteed to have a hoot of a time.  Ok, enough with the lame owl references.  I'm going to bed.  


Thursday, October 14, 2010

A little lime light and a BIG Thank You!

An exciting thing has happened!  Unbelievably enough, Waking Lucia was featured this past weekend in Florida's St. Peteresburg Times and TBT!  Stephanie Hayes of the Times' Deal Divas wrote the story and did a bang up job!  It was great fun getting together for our interviews and felt more like hanging out with an old friend.  
From the bottom of my heart, thank you, Stephanie!  This experience has given me hope that my story has a place and that just maybe it could inspire.   You rock!

Wanna read it?  Here's the link.

In other news, I'm working on several projects that I can't wait to share! Be sure to check back... one should be up tomorrow!

Have a superb day!


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cheap Thrills

Part of waking Lucia involves becoming a little more fashion conscious.  But let's face it, deciding to dress better doesn't change the fact that you may not have the means to do so; at least not all at once.  So I've been looking for inexpensive ways to accessories outfits I already have.  I came up with the idea of embellishing cheap bangles and decided to write a tutorial about it, not because it's that ingenious of an idea (because it's not) but because I realize there may be someone out there (like ME!)  that likes to actually see how to do something instead of just reading about it.  So here's my ridiculously easy diy accessory.

I started out with two cheap bracelets from Walmart.  The silver one had texture to it and I wasn't sure how it would fare, but it worked well.

Bought some ribbon on clearance.  The red one was quite wide and was wired, but I fell in love with the pattern.
I pulled out the wire.  It slides right out.
Then I tore the side seams off.  I wanted the ribbon to look more like torn fabric and not so neat.
It wound up looking like this.
Then all I did was fire up the ol' hot glue gun and started gluing every so often as I wrapped the ribbon.  This may go without saying, but it's better if you put your dots of glue on the inside of the bracelet so you don't have any lumps on the outside.
I wrapped the other one in a thin sea-foam green ribbon.  It wrapped much easier but took a little longer.  So pretty.
Here they are in action.  

Ok, so these may not be the best shots of the bracelets themselves, but look at that cute, chunky baby!


The awful photo quality doesn't do these bracelets justice.  They really are cute.  But don't take my word for it!  Make some yourself.  You could make one for every outfit.  It would also be cute to add more embellishments to them, say a fabric flower or some beads?


Friday, October 8, 2010

If I were a guy, I'd have a mustache...

but I'm not.  So, these little tributes will have to suffice.

By YummyPocket

These could quite possibly turn me into a wino

My son must have this

and these

refined technology

a great conversational piece

stache on a stick...genius

You are now without excuse to not sport some kind of a mustache. 
Have a stache related craft?  Tell me all about it in the comment section!


Thursday, October 7, 2010

The DIY "I'm not going to pay full price" Tombstone

My husband's favorite holiday is Halloween, so I'm really wanting to put some effort into decorating our house this year for him.  The only problem is I can't bring myself to pay the going rate (an arm and a leg) for silly decorations I'd only use once a year.  So, I decided I would make my own.  I got this idea after seeing a ridiculously expensive styrofoam tombstone at the store.
Remember, I've only just begun waking Lucia, so I have to admit I'm a bit proud of my little tutorial.  Hope you like it too!

         (1)sheet of styrofoam
         black paint
         sponge brush
         exacto knife

Step 1: CUT!
         Cut out the shape you want for your tombstone with your exacto knife.  I used a plate to help with the curved edges.

Step 2:  CARVE!
 Next you're going to carve out your design.  I "drew" (carved) my skull and bones free hand, but I bet you could print a basic image out and trace around it too.  It sounds silly, but I used a mechanical pencil without the lead to carve because the exacto wasn't all that easy to maneuver.  Also, when you're carving your design, be sure to carve an outline of at least 1/2" wide around your intended image.  That outline will remain white and really define your image.

Step 3:  PAINT!
 Squirt paint onto your brush and start dabbing.  Remember not to paint the carved out part.  Ttry to get the edges of your image dark so the white really stands out.

Step 4:  DECORATE! 
I think it turned out pretty cute, and it was cheap and fun to make!  

Happy Early Halloween!


Monday, October 4, 2010


One of my former students recently had a birthday, and I was invited to his party.  I wanted to make him something cool because he's a cool little dude.  But what is a 10 year old going to like that his teacher gives him?  Well...  five months ago my darling husband bought me the coolest gift ever - a Yudu screen printing machine. This was a perfect opportunity to take it for a test drive! So I scoured my list of "to-do" projects and came across this great idea for a shirt from I am Momma.  I tweaked it a little by changing the font and added a slice falling down, just to make sure everyone understood it was butter and ...

A smooth shirt for a smooth kid!

If you don't have a screen printing machine, don't fret!  I am Momma did hers by freezer paper stenciling and has a great "how-to"!  

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Pincushion Ring Tutorial

What do you get when you mix fashion and sewing?  A pin cushion ring, of course!  I can't tell you how many times I drop my pins on the floor as I'm learning to sew.  I knew I needed a pin cushion but didn't like the idea of wearing a bulky pillow on my wrist, so I decided to make one into a ring!  With my tutorial, you too can feel pretty while you craft!


pretty fabric
(1) ring pop
(1) 1-gallon water cap
hot glue gun

Step 1:

Cut off (or eat!) the candy part of the ring pop.  (It comes off easily if you take a knife to it.)
You'll be left with this:

Step 2:  Cut off the peg part of the ring so that you're left with a flat base.  I sawed mine off with a knife - be careful!

Step 3:  Cut out a circle of your fabric with about a 6" diameter.  I used a little plate as a guide.

Step 4:  Next you're going to create the cushion. 
Wrap your fabric around a chunk of fiber-fil and the water cap so that you have a cushiony ball.  Then hot glue the ends of the fabric to the bottom (flat side) of the cap.  This part takes a little patience to get the shape you want; but don't worry, you'll get it!

It should look like this on top.

Step 5:  I'm sorry I don't have a picture for this, but I think you'll understand.  Glue the bottom of the cushion you just made onto the base of the ring.  Let dry.

          Step 6:  Next, cut a strip of fabric about 3/4" x 7"

Step 7:  The base of your ring won't look so pretty, so glue the strip of fabric around to cover it up.

Ta-dah!  You're ring is complete.  Just add pins!

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